Teachers get record injury payouts

Teachers won record amounts of compensation last year after suffering accidents, injuries or assaults at school, new figures have shown.

One secondary school teacher was awarded more than £382,000 after his arm was slammed in a filing cabinet, while another won £240,000 after working in a poorly ventilated workshop for a decade, according to information published by teaching unions.

The payouts, worth tens of millions of pounds in total, included settlements paid to teachers who tripped or slipped at school.

The NASUWT teaching union said it secured a record £15.6 million for its members last year, almost 24% more than in 2011.
Its largest work-related criminal assault payout was for a 45-year-old school worker in the North East who intervened to help a colleague who was being attacked by a pupil. He was kicked by the youngster and attacked by another student from behind. He was later awarded £268,787 including damages.

A 39-year-old technology teacher from the East of England received a settlement worth £240,000 after working in a poorly ventilated workshop left him with allergies and sinus problems.

A third teacher, from Northern Ireland, slipped on a patch of moss, breaking her leg in two places and dislocating her ankle. She was awarded £66,291.

NASUWT general secretary Chris Keates said: "Behind every one of these cases is a person who has been damaged physically or mentally, either because of injury or unfair dismissal.

"The distress and pressure of the incident to the individual teacher and their family has often been compounded by years of legal action and court proceedings before any award is made.

"While compensation is important, it can never make up for the fact that many of these teachers suffer permanent physical and mental injury and often cannot continue in their chosen career."

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